A policy change at Larned State Hospital means the mental health facility is no longer accepting voluntary admissions, according to Douglas W. McNett, executive director of The Center for Counseling and Consultation, based in Great Bend.
McNett’s office received the revised admissions policy late in the afternoon on Good Friday and notified all law enforcement agencies, community partners and district courts in the service area. He said the change was due to the census at LSH, which is close to capacity.
In addition to the statutory mental health screening requirements currently performed by The Center before transporting an individual to Larned, prior authorization is now required by LSH staff, McNett said. The policy change may cause delays in procuring mental health inpatient hospitalization.
The policy revision was released April 3 by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, which cited “ongoing and critical census challenges at Larned State Hospital.” KDADS put the new policy in place to ensure the availability of LSH services for individuals in critical need.
According to the KDADS statement, the Psychiatric Services Program at LSH is licensed for 104 beds and the agency is imposing this moratorium on voluntary admissions until the census reachers 85 or fewer patients.
Involuntary admissions are still being accepted. However, before a person is authorized to file a civil commitment action in district court, the Community Mental Heath Center screener (The Center), will call a 24/7 admission team at LSH, which will consist of an admissions officer and hospital physician, to triage the patient.